~~~~~ The Lycanthrope Chronicles~~~~~
~Chapter Thirty-Two: "The Werewolf: Beauty Becomes The Beast~
“You do understand what I am speaking of?”
Vera remained silent.
“You do, don’t you?” Carterious nodded. “I know you do. You know I loved my daughter with a passion like the burning of Magnus. Her death was the end of me. I was devastated. I still prowl the house at night . . . searching for her. But I must be just as dead. My dear girl, I wish I could tell you that the tragedy that has beset your life has concluded. But I’m afraid the darkest hours of oblivion are right before you.”
“What are you trying to say?” Vera said, setting her dagger aside. “That I am going to turn into a monster?”
Carterious turned away for a moment to consider his answer. And as he twisted his body toward her, she felt a fire ignite in her that somehow he had an answer, someway he would respond. But as the candlelight’s flushed her grandfather’s face, she knew he had no answers remaining. His eyes were no longer human, they blazed with bright yellow fire and his teeth revealed a smile that was wicked and sharp and predatory. Vera Castius stared at her grandfather, then at the broken chair and the debris, then finally at the wall with the handpicked portraits of some members of the family. She turned and saw the deep claw marks on the walls and floor, made by a large beast. The gates of Vera’s mind finally had opened and the realization of what was happening nearly caused her to fall to her knees. Carterious heard Vera’s muffled cry and smiled, he began walking toward his frightened granddaughter. After shock had taken its hold, she finally shouted out loud.
“You! You’re the werewolf!" she cried, and as if the pieces were finally put together. “This entire time!”
Carterious moved toward her, slowly, taking a step at a time. Vera taking twice the measure of steps back. “You murdered all those people. And mother . . . she found out. That’s why she took her own life.”
“So much pain,” he said, and then he moved with a blur of speed. Vera threw her hands out to ward off an attack, but there was a loud clang at the door. She stared at what had happened: the cell door was shut. She heard a key turn the lock, and saw that Carterious grabbed her discarded dagger and then trapped himself in the chamber. Carterious stared from behind the bars. Vera’s mind could not process this. She turned and back to the corridor that would lead to the stairs and to impending freedom. Her escape was at hand. Her grandfather leaned down on the bars and spoke from within the cell.
“The night belongs to you. The gift always blossoms on the first full moon after the symptoms of the change.”
And then she understood. Carterious did not trap himself on the cell as a sign of punishment. He had trapped Vera outside. Free and unchained. Vera sank to her knees as the full weight of what was transpiring landed on her. A sudden, unbearable agony hit her as hard and terrible as the truth.
The pain that emerged in her chest, was so surprising and so unexpected, that it shocked her to silence. It was as every nerve in the center of her body was dipped in flame. Vera watched with horror-filled eyes as her chest started to heave and quiver. Her heart pumped audibly within her breast and she felt it swelling to abnormal proportions. It felt as if it was going to burst open from within her at any time. The pain was tremendous and so intense that she begged for death. She cried out as her entire body succumbed to the immense pain.
“I can’t be…” she whispered. She suddenly raised her arm up and reached out to her grandfather. “I’m going to trans-”
“The first transformation is always the most . . . intense,” Carterious explained. “You will have a taste of glory. You will be faster, stronger and deadlier. You’ve always been a strong lass, and I admire that about you. But this is will make you truly powerful, almost unstoppable. The latest generation of the lineage is always strongest than the last.”
“Grandfather!” cried Vera in fear. “You’re going to let the villagers to kill me?”
Carterious chuckled. “Oh I doubt they will kill you. Some of them will make easy prey. I did find it foolish that you sent Praxedes off into the wind on this special night. It is well, however. Susanna will make a fine first kill, and the innocent life within her womb will both appease Hircine and end all possibilities of foreign blood staining our lineage. But you knew this, too, didn’t you? Your instinct tells you the threat to the pack must be eliminated. A sacrifice to our Lord will only cement your growth."
Agony began to spread through Vera’s legs and arm, exploding through muscle and sinew.
“Why?” she demanded. Tears began to fall down her cheeks.
Carterious turned away for a second, to consider his answer. And as he turned around, Vera felt the brief hope that somehow he could change the moment, that somehow he would have an answer. But instead he only gave a word of advice, and not salvation.
“Do not try to hold the Beast back. Allow it to guide you. Feed it. Sate its hunger.” Carterious said, but his words were mangled by a mouth that was not made for spoken language. “I know you will survive. You are blood my blood.”
“Stalk the night. Run free. Kill or be killed.” Those were the last words that left his mouth. The rest was a vicious snarl of hatred and hunger that caused Vera to stand to her feet and flee from that awful place. She crawled up the stairs from the crypt, grabbing the steps with fingers that were not human. She pulled herself up with hands that had transformed to something out of a nightmare as she moved with gnarled and malformed feet and then pain pulled her to the floor.
She cried out, but her words came out as a gnarled roar. She rose to her feet yet again but her trembling legs buckled and failed to support her. She fell to the floor inside the main chamber, falling to her knees next to her mother’s sarcophagus. The light from the candles were overwhelmingly bright, their low glow somehow turned her eyes to yellow sunbursts. She could feel them changing, shifting into a monstrous lupine glow. It was the most nauseating experience she had ever felt. And it progressively worsened.
Her senses had exploded; sights, sounds and palate had flooded impossibly fast. In the span of a few seconds passing, she saw a group of insects swarm into focus. She could smell the traces of plant matter and animal blood on each proboscis. She heard the water in a river become a crashing sound in her ears. And the beating heart of human prey nearby.
Her mind dragged on at the sensory assault. Vera could feel everything that was happening to her. Her flesh was burning, as if every part in her body had transformed into a raging inferno. Her respiration quickened until she was panting like a wolf. The landscape of her mind changed as her brain pumped new thoughts that quickly devoured all trace of a human mindset.
Her face was distorted into a mask of hellish pain as the insides twisted within her gut. Bulging veins throbbed below her skin, pumping new blood through them at rapid speeds. Claws grew forth from her fingernails, and her hand was no longer the delicate hand of a young woman but natural deadly weapons of a predatory beast.
Vera screamed and wept as she twisted and convulsed upon the cold floor. She could feel her body changing as bones bent to horrifying new shapes and muscles tore apart and came back together in preternatural ways. Somehow her mass and size increased—maybe even drawing substance from Oblivion itself. Her bones thickened to support heavy muscle and corded ligaments. Her skin burned like fire and itched as new hair follicles grew and began sending stiff black fur, dark as night, through her flesh. The bristling fur covered her febrile hide, leaving no trace of her once-human appearance. A coudal vertabrae grew from above her rump and swayed as dark hair covered a new tail. Her clothes were torn apart from her body as her new form was unable to be contained by the weak fabric, leaving her completely nude in the dimly lit chamber. Her nakedness, however, was concealed by the thick sable pelt that cast a giant shadow on the walls.
Pale hot pain flared in her jaw as her molars shifted forward to give way to the growth of powerful new carnassial teeth that grew out of her bleeding gums, and the canines became deadlier and more pronounced. Sharp incisors pointed into the sky. A wolfish snout stretched out her face, turning her visage into a nightmarish sight. Her blond hair fell back to join the straws of tattered clothing that littered about the bloody floor just as black hairs sprouted from her head and tufted ears.
Vera screamed her mother’s name but what shook the room was an animal’s roar. There was no trace of human voice in that sound. The roar was so loud that insects retreated into the cracks and dust flew from the corners of the chamber. The roar was so loud as all the pain, agony, hatred and despair that was crammed inside that body broke free at once. It funneled out through the entrance of that iron door and shook the night sky. It was not the cry of a young woman. In that moment, in that very night, that form of Vera Castius no longer existed.
"Our Telvanni masters have taken the lives of many of us slaves. And this day . . . we shall return the favor! Let us demonstrate to these villains what he have been taught beneath the heel of their 'superiority'. And in such lesson, honor the fallen with Dunmer blood!"-Lycus Desselius.